Parents of hero mother Hannah Clarke describe her final moments – and the reason they couldn’t hug her
Hannah Clarke’s parents have revealed the mother of three’s heartbreaking last moments in the hospital and why they couldn’t hug their daughter.
The 31-year-old had just watched Rowan Charles Baxter murder their three children after ambushing the family at their Brisbane morning school on February 19.
Baxter dipped their car with gasoline and set it on fire. Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three, were killed on the spot.
Hannah, who jumped from the driver’s seat of her car and shouted ‘he poured gasoline on me’, later died in hospital with burns to 97 percent of her body.
Baxter died on the spot from self-inflicted knife wounds.
Hannah had just watched Rowan Charles Baxter (left) kill their three children after ambushing the family at their Brisbane morning school in February.
Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke hug at a wake for their daughter Hannah and her three children
Hannah Clarke’s parents have revealed the mother of three’s heartbreaking last moments in the hospital and why they couldn’t hug their daughter. Hannah is shown with her grandmother and children Trey, three, Laianah, four, and Aaliyah, six
Hannah’s parents, Suzanne and Lloyd Clarke, spoke at length with the Q Weekend, revealing how Hannah spent her final moments in the burns ward in Royal Brisbane’s intensive care unit.
They got together with Hannah’s brother and his wife, Nat and Stacey, and her best friend Nikki Brooks to say goodbye to Hannah.
Nat had been flown in from a job site while the group waited to turn off Hannah’s life support until he arrived.
“Mommy told me to hold her hand, but I couldn’t, because somehow I thought if I touched her burns, I would hurt her,” Nat said.
Baxter dipped their car with gasoline and set it on fire. Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4, and Trey, 3, were killed on the spot
‘Isn’t it crazy? But I just didn’t want her to hurt any more. ‘
The family couldn’t hug her goodbye because they didn’t want Hannah to be in any more pain, and Lloyd paced the room angrily, cursing about what Baxter had done.
But when he looked at his daughter, who was covered up to her neck with a sheet, he decided that Hannah didn’t need more anger in her last moments.
“So I told her I loved her, that she was my little girl and that I was so sorry I couldn’t have protected her,” Lloyd said.
Sue stood close to her daughter, trying not to hurt her, and kissed her crown.
She told her daughter that she loved her and that she had been very brave, but it was time to get back to her babies.
The heartbroken parents pulled back the lid on the ‘red flags’ they saw when they issued a stark warning about how domestic violence can befall anyone – no matter how rich you are where you live.
Hannah Clarke is pictured with her two daughters Aaliyah, six, and Laianah, four
Lloyd and Suzanne Clarke are pictured with two of their grandchildren. The grieving parents remind us that domestic violence can occur in any zip code and in any classroom
The Clarkes spoke at length, hoping that no one else will suffer in the same way as Hannah.
Suzanne said the “red flags” with Hannah’s husband had been “gradual” and started with “little things.”
Suzanne (right) said the ‘red flags’ in Hannah’s husband were ‘gradual’ and started with ‘little things’
Baxter had taken over Hannah’s Facebook and she was not allowed to wear shorts or bikinis, Sue revealed in a video on The Courier Mail.
The grandmother didn’t think too much about it at first. She thought a shared Facebook site would make sense as the couple posted the same photos and as for the bikinis, she just thought Baxter was a bit of a ‘prude’.
At the time, Baxter was a “nice” addition to the family, with whom they got along. He would have a beer with Lloyd on Friday afternoons and the family would enjoy Thai takeout on a weekend.
But Suzanne said Baxter’s behavior gradually became more obsessive and possessive.
He would go through her phone, he would eavesdrop on phone calls. Certain clothes she couldn’t wear. He was trying to control everything, ”she said.
The Clarke’s believe that anyone who starts noticing red flags should speak up and seek professional help through domestic violence services.
Lloyd, who is in the photo enjoying some time in the water with his grandson Trey, said the family tried to talk to Baxter about his ever-controlling behavior, but to no avail.
Pictured: A tow truck removes the car that Baxter burned in Brisbane on Feb. 19, 2020
Lloyd said the family tried to talk to Baxter about his ever-controlling behavior, but to no avail.
‘We have had a few mini-interventions. We went there, we tried to talk to him about it. “You need help, you need to see someone,” but that fell a bit on the road and seemed to make him angrier, “Lloyd said.
Before Hannah was murdered by Baxter, the 31-year-old and her three children moved back in with her parents.
The heartbroken parents described their daughter as a strong and devoted mother whose smile would always light up a room.
Lloyd said Hannah always puts other people first. He said very few knew about her struggles at home because she would always have a brave face.
In one last bold gesture, Hannah used her last moments in life to give the police a detailed account of Baxter and his gruesome abuse.
Suzanne, who is portrayed with Hannah’s daughters Aaliyah and Laianah, said Baxter’s behavior gradually became more obsessive and possessive.
Pictured: Flowers and a ‘stop domestic violence’ sign are placed on-site in Brisbane
Despite burns to most of her body, Hannah herself walked to a stretcher, recounting the shocking events that had happened.
She passed out on her way to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, but woke up in intensive care, where she retold the story of Baxter’s attack.
Lloyd said his daughter wanted the ‘monster’ caught for the murders and probably did not know he had died.
Hannah and the children were killed on February 19 when Baxter hid in her parents’ front yard at Camp Hill, where she and the children lived, and ambushed them while driving the children to school and daycare.
The children died in the car while Hannah managed to free herself, but later died in hospital. Baxter died on the spot from self-inflicted knife wounds.
The attack that killed Hannah and her family led to increased efforts to end domestic violence.
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BRISBANE MURDER-SUICIDE: HOW RURAL RAMPAGE UNFOLDED
Queensland Police officers are being called for an incident of family violence allegedly involving the couple.
WEDNESDAY 19 FEBRUARY – EARLY MORNING:
Rowan Charles Baxter, 42, is spotted filling a jerry can with fuel at a local gas station.
Baxter dives into the white Kia Sportage of his estranged wife Hannah Clarke as she prepares to drop off school in Raven Street, Camp Hill, a wealthy Brisbane suburb.
He baptizes Mrs. Clarke, 31, and their three children – Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and Trey, three – in gasoline and turns the car on.
Neighbors hear an explosion that sounded like a ‘gas cylinder’ explosion. At least four explosions followed.
Baxter takes a knife from the SUV and stabs himself in the chest.
He tries to stop neighbors from saving his wife and children before they die on the street.
Mrs. Clarke escapes from the burning car and shouts, “He poured gasoline on me.”
Shocked witnesses watch her skin peel off her body.
A heroic neighbor hoses her in an attempt to save her life and suffers burns herself.
She is rushed to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in critical condition.
Mrs. Clarke dies in hospital from the terrible burns she suffered in the quadruple murder suicide.